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LIBRARY 

January 195#TATE PLANT BOARD E . 873 



United States Department of Agriculture 
Agricultural Research Service 
Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine 



SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT OF RANGE GRASSHOPPERS 
AS RELATED TO CONTROL 

By R. C. Newton, C. O. Esselbaugh, G. T. York, and H. W. Prescott-' 
Division of Cereal and Forage Insect Investigations 



From earliest times outbreaks of grasshoppers have caused serious 
damage to large sections of the western range. Recent surveys of such 
infestations have determined the species responsible for the damage. 
The new insecticide aldrin has been effective in controlling the latest 
outbreaks. In fact, its use has preceded a knowledge of the seasonal 
histories of these grasshoppers, which is needed to obtain the most 
effective timing and application of insecticides. If their seasonal de- 
velopment is not known, cost of control may be greatly increased by 
beginning operations before hatching is complete or delaying it until 
after egg laying has begun. Seasonal-history studies made in eastern 
Wyoming and eastern Montana in 1950 and 1951 were designed to give 
this information. 

It has long been apparent that the various species of range grass- 
hoppers appear in the same sequence year after year, and that recog- 
nizing the early, intermediate, and late groups would be of value in 
their control. The different species do not develop at the same rate. 
Thus a sequence based on immature stages will not necessarily coincide 
with one based on first-appearing adults. 

The purpose of this paper is to show the sequence in appearance of 
the various species of range grasshoppers, their development and 
seasonal histories in the light of this sequence, the extent of overlapping 
that occurs in the egg stage when early and late species infest the same 
rangeland, and the need for proper timing of control applications. The 
studies for Wyoming and Montana are presented separately because of 
regional differences and their effect on the schedules of seasonal devel- 
opment. 



1/ The research in eastern Wyoming was conducted by the first two 
authors and that in. Montana by the last two. 



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Adult period: 

Melanoplus infantilis ---------- July 10-Oct. 16 

Mermiria maculipennis- -------- July 15-Oct. 13 

Trimerotropis campestris ------- July 15-Sept. 17 

pistrinaria ------- July 8-23 

Grasshoppers Overwintering as Nymphs 

It is well known that most species overwinter in the egg stage. How- . 
ever, a small group of very early-appearing adults- - Xanthippus corallipes , 
Psoloessa delicatula , Arphia conspersa , Chortophaga viridifasciata , and 
Eritettix simplex--overwinter as nymphs and become adults early in the 
following May. Since the sequence in table 1 is based on the time of 
hatching, and these species hatch in late summer, this arrangement 
places them at the bottom of the list. However, they are the first 
species to appear as adults in the spring. 

Hatching Period.- -The eggs of grasshoppers that overwinter as 
nymphs hatched from August 13 through early September of the same 
year in which they were laid. Some Canadian workers have reported 
a diapause of 1 year in some of these species. 

Nymphal Period. --These grasshoppers had the longest nymphal 
period. They passed through their early development in September 
and October. Development was arrested in the winter months, but was 
resumed early in the following spring. Nymphs hibernated under dead 
grass, stems, litter, and debris on the ground. 

Adult Period . --Although the grasshoppers overwintering as nymphs 
are the first to become adults the following spring, they do not have 
longer adult lives than do grasshoppers that winter in the egg stage. 
Adults appearing in early May completed their egg laying and gradually 
died of old age in July. 

Egg-Laying Period . --Being the first grasshoppers to become adults, 
they were likewise the first to lay their eggs- -from about mid-May 
through June. A female of Arphia conspersa was observed ovipositing 
as early as May 14. 

Grasshoppers Overwintering in Egg Stage 

Hatching Period. --Overwintered eggs of the earliest developing 
species started hatching about May 7 and continued through June. The 
intermediate species started hatching about June 1 and continued to 
about mid-July, and the late species started hatching about the last of 
June and the hatching period extended through July. Thus these grass- 
hoppers had a hatching period of about 3 months. It should be emphasized 
that this is the overall, or regional, period. Only when early- and late- 
developing species infest the same rangeland does this. condition actually 



LIBRARY 
STATE PLANT BOARD 






of 

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- 5 - 

seasons rather than actual dates of observance. Weather data for 
Montana show trends almost identical with those for Wyoming. 

During the seasons of 1949, 1950, and 1951 at least 25,000 speci- 
mens were examined and used as the basis for the classification. The 
ranking for 1949 was similar to that for 1950 and 1951 even though the 
development that year was 10 days to 2 weeks earlier. Further verifi- 
cation of the stability of the sequence of hatching and development was 
obtained in 1950, when the examination of the mountainous area between 
Ashland and Lame Deer, developing about 2 weeks later than the typical 
plains areas, showed a similar trend. 

The data on seasonal development of range grasshoppers in eastern 
Montana are given in table 2. There was some variation between collec- 
ticnareas. For instance, during 1950 it was found that Aulocara 

elliotti was slightly ahead in development in eight collections, and 
Amphitornus coloradus was ahead in six. A. elliotti was given preference 
in the rating in table 2 because of this slight difference. A reversal of 
the position of these two species might readily occur in additional collec- 
tions. In 1951 the first eggs of both species hatched on the same 
date, and the first adults were taken 40 days later. 

Ageneotettix deorum developed more slowly. In 18 out of 20 collec- 
tions where sufficient specimens were present for good comparisons 
between this species and Amphitornus coloradus, its development was 
retarded. The average retardation was about 3 days. This is in close 
accord with the records of first appearance of nymphs and adults as 
well as with field observations. 

COMPARISON OF GRASSHOPPER DEVELOPMENT 
IN WYOMING AND MONTANA AREAS 

The two tables show a general agreement in the order of appearance 
and development for most of the grasshoppers present in both areas. 
However, hatching in the Montana area frequently preceded that in the 
Wyoming area by about 5 days. 

Some exceptions occurred. Melanoplus angustipennis and Cordillacris 
crenulata were among the last of the early-developing species to hatch in 
Wyoming; in Montana these species were among the first of the inter- 
mediate group. M. bowditchi canus was one of the first of the inter- 
mediate group in Wyoming and one of the first of the late group in 
Montana. Brachystola magna occurred late in the intermediate group 
in Wyoming, and in the middle of the late group in Montana. On the 
other hand, Bruneria brunnea occurred fourth in the intermediate group 
in Montana, and was last in the late-developing species in Wyoming. 
Variations in abundance of species could account for some of these 
discrepancies. Differences in the order of appearance of Camnula 
pellucida and Boopedon nubilum are believed due to their presence only 
in the higher foothills of the Laramie Range in Platte County, Wyo., 
which could account for their later development in Wyoming. 









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common to all 12 species. In general, the grass feeders are confined 
to pure grass stands, whereas reversions and weedy areas support the 
forbs-feeding grasshoppers. Specific grass- and forbs-feeding species 
are still further restricted. Yet because most ranges consist of many 
grasses and forbs, they are able to support both types of species. The 
strong migratory tendency of most grasshoppers likewise favors this 
condition. 

Many of the species studied have a varied distribution in Wyoming 
and Montana, and the frequency with which certain complexes occur will 
depend somewhat on the way distribution centers and areas of greatest 
population densities of these species overlap. For example, Cordillacris 
occipitalis and Melanoplus angustipennis have occurred in greatest numbers 



in eastern Wyoming; therefore complexes in which they are a part will 
occur with greater frequency in that area. 

If a control operation is performed without a knowledge of the seasonal 
development of these species, and the hatch is not complete at the time of 
treatment, it may be necessary to repeat the operation later at an addi- 
tional cost of thousands of dollars to ranchers and State and Federal 
agencies cooperating in the campaign. 

Early and late species do not have to occur together on the same 
rangeland to create a problem. When they are present in the same 
general area, their widely different seasonal development must be 
taken into account in the movement of personnel, equipment, and 
insecticides. 

Most of the range grasshoppers feed on certain groups of grasses 
or forbs and are not general feeders. Some are restricted feeders; 
so their habitats are limited. The restricted feeders, such as 
Dactylotum pic turn , Hypochlora alba, Melanoplus bowditchi canus, and 
Schistocerca lineata , are in the minority and are not likely to contribute 
to a serious early-late grasshopper complex. 

There are only two ways of knowing in advance what species will 
infest rangeland. The most reliable information is obtained by making 
an egg survey in either the fall or spring, a laborious task requiring a 
full knowledge of grasshopper egg pods and survey methods. If an egg 
survey cannot be made, the next best procedure is to visit range areas 
to observe the nymphs and adults of the different species, on the assump- 
tion that the grasshoppers will occur in nearly the same proportions and 
densities the following year. Where early and late species infest the 
same rangeland, more than one properly timed visit will be required 
for an approximate appraisal. The seasonal-history data given in this 
paper should aid in timing both appraisal surveys and control operations. 



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- 18 - 1 1 urn in in 

11 31262 09239 6364 

■ 



A • • irnbul . 

* 
Amphitornu 

■ 

na (Thom 
Au. liotti ( s) 

Boopcdon nubilum 

ichystola ma rd) 

brunni 

mnula prllucida (Scudc 
Chorthippus longicornis (Latreille) 
Chortophaga viridifas< Lata (DeGeer) 

rcotettix rabula Rehn ar.fi Hebard 

undulatus (Thomas) 
Cordillacris crenui 

occipitalis (Thomas) 
cdes i is (Tr. 

D 'viotum pictum (Thomas) 
D< ma haydenn (Thomas) 

D na | Linnaeus) 

•panoptcrna ' .dder) 

tolophus sordidus (Burn • 
• .x simpl< .dder) 

Had] tetl k trifa 
Hel iaula rufa (Scu I 

H • B ttiX Vi 1 

H fpoi hlora alba ( D 

bivittatus (Say) 
bowditchi canua H 



da .' 

d< >■-. 

flavidus flavidus Scuddcr 

udder 
gladstoni (Scudder) 
in: 

keelen lundus (Dod t 
mexicanus (Saussu 

. :• ntahs (Thomas) 
packardn Scud : 
maculipennis Bruner 
Mestobregma plattei (Thomas) 
Metator pardalinus (Saussure) 

>podismopsis abdominalis (Thomas) 

Opeia obscura (Thomas) 

'hulella speciosa (Scudder) 

Pardalophora ap 

:1a wyomingensis (Thomas) 
;bostroma quadnmaculatum (Thomas) 
Phoctaliotes nebrasc. Thomas) 

Psoloessa d< t) 

Schisto S udder 

Sph Hare (Scudri- 

• 

l rachyrhachis I Thom 

merol McNeill 

11 

i . 

iphua ■ 
thippv an)